The Ed Eppley Experience
The Ed Eppley Experience

Episode 7 · 2 years ago

Arrogance - How Failing to Listen to Your Team Can Literally Destroy Your Business


Ed speaks with Marques Odgen, former NFL player turned construction entrepreneur. Marquest shares his riches to rags experience with amazing candor and passion. Learn how his inability and unwillingness to listen literally cost him his business. This is an episode that every CEO, president and owner should hear

Welcome to the ED epley experience. Twenty minutes that simplifies the complex job of managing and meeting people and Inspires you to take action on what you probably already know to build and sustain a smart and healthy business. Here's your host Ed Effley to introduce this week's guest and business leader. Welcome to the ED epley experience. Thirty minutes are less for you to get one or more proven business idea that will help you run a more sustainable and successful business, and especially in these unusual times. As we're recording this, we're in our we're calling it not lockdown. What the heck are they calling it? Yeah, well, it's basically stay at home and for the most part it's putting a new wrinkle in how we try to do business and what business would look like normally. It's really different. So, Marcus, were excited to have you with us today. Folks, Marcus Ogden is a really unusual, in a positive way, human being. He and I have had the good fortune meeting relatively recently, last couple of weeks, and it's primarily through Marcus's efforts. We met on Linkedin and I was intrigued by one how he communicated with me and made himself valuable to me and as a result, I just wanted to start having a conversation and as we had those conversations it became evident this guy's got something to share with all of us, and so that's why I asked him to be on with us today. So, Marcus, welcome to the ED eplei experience. Thanks for having me on and how are you doing to day, my friend? I'm doing well. It's one of those strange times, having gone through the great financial crisis, from Global Financial Crisis Eight, nine and ten. Then also, you know, one ninety two, there was a terrible outpouring of businesses from the US to other countries and there was the YK crisis. So I've been through a number of these with forty years of experience. Marcus, tell us a little bit about your business background and then we're going to talk about what preceded that. So my business background, as I used to own a very successful construction business in Baltimore City and the state of Maryland. I grew it from zero dollars to an eight figure year business between the years of two thousand and eight to two thousand and twelve, and unfortunately, and I ended up losing the business and two thousand and thirteen, making some really bad business decisions and getting over extending on a project and trusting a client that I shouldn't have. As a result of that, I lost my business. Today I'm a chemos speaker in our national so nationally as well, I'm a best selling author. I have I'm doing some consults, haying a lot of work on one on one coaching and I own parts the from businesses that Coralie and basically have core values that align with our brand. Well, Marcus, prior to this entrepreneurial career you were in the NFL, and with a question, in fact, I was it nine years. How long were you in the NFL, which six years? Six years, okay, so you beat the average, which is what four point three years or something like that. One point two, one point three, all right, not long. So you were successful in having a career that went more than the average. Did you always know you were an entrepreneur? Yes, growing up, my father worked in economics and in the financial industry. I knew, even though he worked for organization. You know, he kind of was like that entrepreneur under a company umbrella. So I always wanted to be like him. I wanted to do financial planning, I wanted to do, you know, things of that nature, and I want to always be out trying to help people and solve problems for them. So growing up watching my father with his success in Corporate America as a entrepreneur under a company umbrella, I always wanted to be entrepreneur my whole life. I'm curious because I do not want... make this about your athleticism and your career in the NFL, unless you feel like it's important to but I'm curious. I got a feeling that you and I'd be talking even if you hadn't played in the NFL. Oh yeah, I mean the NFL. I learned a lot and from great leadership skills, how to deal with adversity, how to push through difficult times like that's what training camp is really all about. It's about who has the mental toughness to endure the heat. Double Practices, like back when I was playing, you could be double padded out in the morning and in the evening. There wasn't anything like there is today, where you have certain padded practices and we didn't do intersquad scrimmages like. Of course I think it's a great, great idea, but we wanted to go against our own guys, our own team, our own players, and say here, who's tough enough? Who can push through? and Ad that's exactly what's entrepreneurships about. Who can push through. We're going to have times like we're having right now with the with the covid with the coronavirus, and we're going to have times where you're not going to get the job and thoughts we're going to get. We're going to have times where you're total no wanting your tone, yes, but do you have the mindset to push through? And that's what football taught me, more than the athletic prowess, it is like how to have that mindset and that strong as nails foundation in my head I could always succeed no matter what adversity I was going to be facing on the field and off the field. The fact that you've been so open about a business failure is kind of not unusual, because there's a lot of us as entrepreneurs. We've had failed businesses, but you make no bones about it, you talked about it. I guess we would call that leaning into the danger. When did you recognize there was value in doing that? I recognize it was valuing doing that in two thousand and thirteen, when I ended up losing my business and at that later on that year I became a custodian. I had my pivotal moment then. I said started saying I want to be a speaker. I realized at that time because I wanted to help NFL athletes and as a first first first base, and I realized that those people needed to hear my failures, my shortcoming. Otherwise I wasn't going to reach them because they were like a lot am I going to send to you, like what have you been through to sit here and give me advice? So that's when I really learned. At that sharing my story and owing the failures. You know what's going to help me in my bit now. Of course, in the beginning it was hard because I got a lot of ridicule, a lot of shame, like a why he's saying this? Why you doing this? But eventually, as I kept pushing through, people start saying, marcus, thank you so much. I've had a similar experience. Yeah, job in Baltimore and where a young, young married couple said. Marcus, this talk help me so much. We're in a one point five million dollar lawsuit with an organization and we don't know what's going to happen. But hearing your store of how you lost two and a half million. That what you didn't lose. You spent to Maine off, just like they've spent one point five with the client they trusted. Like I did, lost everything and bounce back. It gave them hope that, either something does go wrong, and I hope they get paid, they deserve it, they can always bounce back. Yeah, do you think that's DNA? That was just part of who you are? Do you think that came from watching your parents or your dad, your mom, your influences a youth? Do you think it came from football? How much of it is nature, how much of it's nurture that taught you this resiliency? I would say nature probably. About I was a half and half. I've been someone who always had, was born with the innatability to push through, because I wasn't like my... Brother was six foot nine in the eighth grade. So I'm six six, but I didn't grow to six foot until I got to college. So I've always had to be someone that had that strong nature. Then, from a nurture perspective, my father, but more important, my grandfather and my grandmother, my maternal grandparents, were huge in my life. Okay, for because my grandmother was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in the s. She walked to school, well, to the school bus, you know, two miles each way too, and the home from school. To have an education. She left Arkansas, got to college, got a degree and became a teacher. My grandfather was in the US Army World War II. He got out. He was in the military with the army having after the World War for a little while right, thanks to business, he then started becoming a boxing trainer and held wife to helping keep young people off the street. So I had that ability to push through adversity from watching them and learning from them, which is the same things I'm teaching my kids, my two daughters, who are one of sixteen and one is five. You got different generational things going on there. I mean that it's a different world for the sixteen year old than the five year old, right. And they both love their tick Tock, they both love their little gadgets. But then we're so alike when they're so different. So I got four girls in the House, I've got my wife, I've got my sixteen year old, my father that we have a female dog. So I email and there's just plain on me. My guess is that being out of the house every now and then it's a good thing for you. It's a love how about your advice right now for entrepreneurs in this in environment, you know, this this world, that's a bit. It's not a bit, it's a lot crazy right now with the covid nineteen. What's your advice to business owners and executives that are leading teams? So the first thing they have to do, if you're leading teams, you have to create some type of daily time manashement blocked to go ahead and have conversations, zoom call with your team. You have to block out that daily scheduled time for them, because if you're not doing that, then you're risk them not seeing you or interacting with you in some capacity, and that could record really diminish the strength and bondom built. You have to also have clear and concise communication. People need to know what you're thinking, how you can help them, what needs to happen and continue to have that clear communication. And another thing you have to do is be patient while people balance their work life and their home life. While they're at home working, it's not easy. You have young people in the house, kids, teenagers, who ever that might be there. So some people might have to be balancing family and work and that's hard. So I think it's a leader. You have to be patient. Then, if you're someone who's entrepreneur or someone who's in sales, their five day things you need to show people and these times to get them to be persuaded to want to work with you. Your character. What type of emotion do you have? What's the reason they should work with you or continue to work with you? Speak to them and range they understand, Aka, strong metaphors and five, be concise. People don't have time. So it's character, motion, reason, metaphors and be concise. And that came from Aristotle in his rhetoric over twozero years ago and it's still going... have heavy weight today. I was going to say those sound like five pretty good things. No matter what's going on right, you can have those five things shine right. Imagine what's going to happen for you when our country comes out of this. Yeah, we're going to be in a much better position. You're listening to the ED epley experience. Email at now with your questions for today's guests to podcast at the EPLI Groupcom. In his book, let's be clear, six disciplines of focused management pros, author Ed Epley breaks down key practices of professional management, how to implement them and why it matters. Purchase your copy on Amazoncom today. Develop your competitive edge for the future while building a sustainable and thriving business. What's your what's your forecast? What do you what do you think the next sixty, ninety, hundred eighty days are going to look like? It's gonna be tough. I mean, from what I've heard from people who had financial planners or people that are in the business world, as far as seeing what's going on with the markets moving, how things are coming around, they're saying about three to six months could be here, and you know, if that's the case, you just have to make some decisions. As a business owner. How can you keep things going, or do you pivot? And this is where I took all time. I someone at who lost it all. I lost my home, I lost my cars, I lost what. I moved from Baltimore to rally it. I had four hundred dollars to my name. That's all. I had millions of dollars from the NFL, from my business gone, and April two thousand and twelve I was a multi millionaire. April two thousand and thirteen, I was bankrupt, I was broke and I had four dollars to my name. I didn't own a home. Both my cars were repossessed in the same day. No, no friends, nothing. So I'm telling you right now the mistake I made with Kden is. I got emotionally attached to a piece of paper that I looked at as a human being and my baby, and that was a mistake. And if you're in the business owner, listening, be awes with yourself and evaluate what needs to happen. If you can push for you keep going. If you need to pivot, make a pivot so you have the best chance to be in a better position. Don't end up like I did with four hundred dollars. Now. Am I back? Absolutely I am. I've changed my life, but it was a battle aunt that I probably didn't have to go through. I didn't have to put myself that out there. Yeah, because I had no guidance, no coach, no leadership in my life. I had sauce, every resource that I had and I came at the end of the day aunt I was completely wiped out. You're pretty selfaware at this point in your development. I would say you probably know yourself pretty darn well. Your strengths, your weakness is, your biases, your tendency's correct, correct, yeah, how much better do you know yourself now than you knew yourself before losing the business? I mean I'm wondering where. You sixty percent of the way there and this, this is got you the final forty percent, more or less. Or give us a fore and after kind of a self awareness. I was fifty percent and selfaware, but before, before this, and then when the pivot happened and I lost everything and I went through the process. Now I'm a hundred percent aware of myself because beforehand I was driven by ego. You couldn't tell me anything, okay,...

Maniac, who everything I said was always right, no matter what. Today, I listened to my trusted team. I'm I allow healthy dialog and inclusion and I'm much more aware and of what I do well. And what I don't do well. And if I don't do something well, I'm honest to that fact, I say hey, I need help and I have a great team around me, my business partner, her name is Darlina. We have a great website person, we have a great marketing person and these are my three core team members and when they speak I listen and it's about stepping up and saying, you know what, Marcus, you don't know everything, and that's okay. Yeah, in mind and is designed to do a lot of things, but it's not designed to do everything. Isn't wrong for me to assume that, because of the strong family background you had in the success you had athletically before you really became you know, really got into business after the NFL, it sounds to me like you did. You hadn't had major failures up to that point. I had not. I had not had you know, I was drafted. You know, I got real I I got released from the INN FL kind of back injury. That was my know, my first failure. Right, nothing when it came to like a catastrophic losing my money or yeah, thing property. Now, I didn't have anything like that. The course, I was even thinking you know, hoping to play athletically and I had yet told it. You can't play, you're not good enough. Like I didn't have that. No, coy was dry was high. I was started high school my last two years I started as a redshirt freshman high university office of fly was. I was a four year starter right drafted playing NFL. So I didn't have that adversity hit me at any regard and that part of my life up until my business. You don't. You're certainly not an arrogant person today. And and by arrogant one of those people who thinks that the rules that apply to others don't apply to them. I don't see that at all. And you, I don't know if you ever were that way, but but I will tell you that the number one reason that I see executives fail, business owners fail, is that there's a form of arrogance where you don't listen. You people are giving you information and input that you really need to have and you just either are unwilling or unable to hear it right. That's exactly why I lost cadd I was arrogant. My best people try to give me advice sounded by is with great backup and great knowledge and credence, but because I was arrogant and I wanted to be my way, I didn't listen and eventually those people start to leave my company at and once that happened, it the ship started to sink. So, if we've got listeners who feel like, as a result of this conversation that you and I are having, that they need to become more selfaware, is there any path that you suggest to them that they go down to become better aware of their strengths, their weaknesses, their biases and so forth? Yes, go to go find something called a mirror in your house. If it, ask yourself these two questions. If people around me that are my trusted advisers when they speak, do I really listen? Or when they speak, do I hear them? It goes one ear and out the other. If it's number one, you are selfaware and continue to conduct yourself in that manner. If it's number two, and everything you hear goes in one, you're out the other. Let me tell you something. I've been there. That was as a result of that and I lost a multimillion dollar, eight figure empire I own and I was bankrupt, almost homeless. And broke so long for... mistake. I'm I'm laughing because if I'm that second one where I listen but don't listen, you know, where I give give the illusion of it, and I have a friend who says he his job is, he's a salesman. He said sometimes my job is to give the illusion of concern, and I've I'm not laughing because I think that's good. I'm just I just find it funny that he's, you know, kept comfortable saying it. YEA, sometimes we want to give our people the illusion that we're taking their input, so we'll ask their opinions when in fact we have no, no intention whatsoever of listening to it or doing anything with it. I was there. Oh, I've been there. But here's the problem with that, though. Eventually it's going to catch up with you. Oh Yeah, because people aren't stupid. Smart people can feel if you're listening or if you're just, you know, pushing him to the side, and eventfully they're going to end up saying, Yep, let's guys, a nice person, I like them into some degree, but I can't work for them and they're going to be off and gone. Yeah, do you feel at this point your career, you've really honed in on your purpose. You know your life's purpose, you know you're in the spot, you're doing what you really are built and meant to do. Absolutely I couldn't imagine doing anything other than speaking, Consulting, coaching, writing, because it fills me up to see people I'm working with as and serving as their coach or their consults and or they read our book or they've been to one of our speeches. Say, Marcus, your worse really helped me get inspired, but could change in my life. When I inspire people, that makes everything worthwhile because at the end of the day, I don't want to motivate you for the short term. I want to inspire you for a long systemic, positive change. All right, now I'm going to I think you and I have a lot of similarities other than our size of our foreheads. So, for those at home who don't have the benefit of being able to see Marcus, he's got a pretty good size for it. He's not as bad as I, but he's got he's got it. He's got a lot of skin up there. So, having said that, I'm the kind of guy who loves what I do and I'm fortunate to get to work with so many great people, but there are times at the end of the day or at the end of the week when I'm done with work and I should be focused on family and friends. I don't have much left to give. I've poured it out in my work day and day out. You know, through in the course of the day of the week, do you ever run into that where where you're so in love with what you do and so good at what you do and you work so hard at it? There at there are times where you need to be a good father or a husband and it's hard to do that with all the energy you pour into your work. Yes, absolutely, and what I try to do and always done, and I'm doing a lot better. To Bob of it says learn to balance, because what you have to do is you have to get work done, but you don't want to work so much that life passes you by. Like last we had game that at our house where we played sorry with my all with all of us, all the girl or all the girls and me right playing far you know, or we're going to do clue or something like that. And you know, my sixth year old has two more years in our house junior seeing her. She's off to college right you know, and we want to create memories with her and my little one who's five, and I remember when she was born. Now she's five years old, you know. So we have to always keep that thought where we're going to always push forward and but the end of the day we have to create that balance between work and fan and we don't do that, life can literally pass you by. I have a good friend that I've gotten to know over the years. He built a complex to teach professional management the business owners that that they can run more successful companies and employ more people. Marcus, and his name is claim mantil. The organization is called Aileron that he built and then the facility.

Clay said that you have to be very careful that your business does not become a mistress. He says it needs it needs to be a child that you and your family raised together, but you got to be careful to not let it become that that thing that competes for their affection in the end, your time. I think that's an excellent point. I love it because in the end of the day, you should be working hard to spend more time with your family because a yeah, that's what Le to me, that's what legacy is. When we're gone, the money's gone, when we can't do anything with it, doesn't matter. So what goes on is how did you treat people like? For me, my father has been gone for now fourteen years, but I talked about them all the time. My daughters know about him. I post on social media his legacy. It continues to go on. Yeah, that's the same thing I want from my family, my daughters, that they remember me as someone that was positive, to help them through tough times and they could count on, when they need it, to someone to be there for them. I found that the three things that I do for my clients and the reason that they, I think, keep doing business with me is one, I make complex things simple, so or they appear to be complex, but for me they look pretty simple and I just share that simplistic view of what I see with them. The second thing is I helped understand that the talent that they have around them and how does that compare and look compared to what they need, you know, and to understand if they have all the talent that they need on their team. And then the last thing is in specific instances I give them permission to act that you know they're already wanting to do it, but I but somehow something I says gives them the courage to act and the permission to act on something that they need to act on. Right now is probably a time where courage is pretty important for leaders. They need to either have the courage to stay the course, they have to have the courage to pivot right they have to have the courage to act on a particular issue. Is there any advice for you, based on your experience, about how a business owner, a manager, a leader can be courageous right now? Yes, you need to do this process. You need to observe. Okay, you need to observe what's going on and see. You know what you see and kind of be sure you can see all the different aspects of the business. You have to Orient or process what you're seeing. You have to make a decision on what's best for you and your organization and you have to act. You have to observe, Orient, decide and act. And that's what I tell my clients all the time, is that if something doesn't look right and you feel it can't come back to where you wanted to be. You got a pivot. If you feel that you can continue down the road and you can get to where you want to get to. We're going to keep the course, but a lot of people, and everybody our society that is a competent mind, they have to take an observe a good amount of process for or in what they see. A few people make a decision that what they need to get done. Well, a lot of people and don't act because they're scared of making that decision or put themselves in a position where be vulnerable to have people adjudge them or see them in a certain way. So if you want to be in the elite that all those three and then the fourth one, by Goodness Satan, have to act. If you don't act, then observing, orienting and deciding was all for nothing. Marcus, if people want to reach you, what's the best way? They can find me on our website, www dot marcus, and they are Quees Ogden ogdancom. They can also choose us a text at nine hundred and one, nine six three five six, zero five five, or they can send us an email at Marcus at Marcus oftencom. Also, were on Linkedin Marcussock, then instagram at Marcusock, can facebook Marcus Oh. Then then our twitter is at Marcus underscore Ogden. They can contact us any way...

...through there and they can connect with us to have a chat about what they're going through, what they might be help with their business for. It's been a pleasure to have this time with you. I know it won't be our last and my guess is we'll have you on again. Marcus. I really appreciate you sharing the experiences you've had and the ideas that you think are so important right now and practically all times for business owners. So I really appreciate it and it's been a pleasure of my friend. I thank you for having me on and I really appreciate it. Ladies and gentlemen, if you want to reach me, don't hesitate to go to our website, the emply Groupcom. That's Eppelley, the EPLI GROUPCOM. My Book, let's be clear, as available for you there, as well as a series of blogs and posts. If you need extra courage right now, recognize that there is so much risk in not acting right now. The risk is not so much in the decisions you make in the actions you take. It's more about the decisions you don't make and the actions you don't take. So please don't be afraid right now to really act. With that will wrap this version of the ED eple experience up. It'll be posted shortly and Marcus will make sure you know when it's there so you can share it with your listeners and friends. Okay, look forward to it. Thanks. Thank you for listening to the ED epply experience. For more information on building a more sustainable, smarter and Healthier Business, visit www the eply groupcom for resources, tips and ED's latest blocks. That's the EPLY, EPP l Ey GROUPCOM. Plus. Take a free assessment at the EPLI groupcoms assessment to find out how you measure up as a highly skilled and accomplished manager and where to focus on improving your skills.

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